Sustainable Development to Drive GCC’s USD 2.87 Trillion Construction Projects Market

GCC countries are increasingly looking to sustainable and environmentally responsible developments as the region's construction sector booms on the back of social infrastructure spending, according to industry experts.

Overall, as much as $2.87 trillion worth of projects are in the design, bid or construction stage in the GCC up to 2025, according to Zawya Projects data, with $1.53 trillion worth of real-estate projects under construction.

According to a report by Ventures Middle East, "GCC Focus on Sustainability in Construction," GCC governments have acted swiftly in the past three years to embrace sustainable construction through education and legislation, creating business demand for "green" development.

Increased spending on social infrastructure and efforts to improve living standards and use outdoor space more effectively are also driving the construction market and boosting outdoor projects, according to regional experts.

"Sustainability is becoming more and more important to the Saudi market, we are seeing dramatic changes in how developers approach the market and how outdoor space is used," said Robb Marinko, ‎Landscape Architecture Manager at Dar Al Riyadh - Architecture and Design Services. "We are trying to create outdoor environments that are comfortable for people to visit, places where people are comfortable to sit, children are free to play and where you have given a reason for people to come and use that public space."

Environmental sustainability has also become a key issue for Qatar. Social infrastructure projects have been given significant allocations in the country's budgets to ensure that Qatar upgrades in every sphere to raise the standards of living of its citizens in accordance with its Vision 2030. This includes increasing the provision of resources such as public parks and making a more appealing public realm.

Strong environmental foundations have also been built in by adopting green codes of construction and environmentally friendly technology in the construction of stadia and other infrastructure to host the World Cup 2022 event.

"GCC countries are increasingly embracing sustainable and green building development as they look to build long-term economic growth and improve social infrastructure," said Nicholas Webb, Managing Partner of Streamline Marketing Group, the organizers of the Outdoor Design & Build Show 2015. "As governments look to further diversify their economies and cater to growing populations, we can expect this sector to become increasingly important in the future."

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